Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

2012 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Awesome death to you and all your friends. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Invest in diapers! Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Operates in a dead zone roughly equidistant between parody and idiocy. You do get the connection between tongue and cheek, but much of the humor still goes thud.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The movie is an undeniable visual spectacle, but just as unequivocally a cheesy, ridiculous story.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Eye-popping special effects ensure that this movie will be a smash hit, and while it's entertaining for most of its excessive running time, the cheesy script fails to live up to the grandeur of the physical production.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    God forgive me, but I enjoyed the nerve-racking silliness of this newest, loudest exercise in destruction.

    Read Full Review

  • See all 2012 reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Massive global destruction -- not for worriers.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that director Roland Emmerich's 2012 is an intense, violent disaster movie, with billions of anonymous characters getting killed during massive scenes of destruction (earthquakes, tsunamis, and more). Although the tone is mainly exciting, the relentless devastation could terrify or depress many viewers (both kids and grown-ups), especially those who've been through natural disasters themselves. In other words, this is no movie for kids anxious about the state of the world. Fans of the genre will find some of the effects truly impressive, but there's not much in the way of character or plot depth. Expect a little bit of kissing, drinking, and swearing (including "s--t"). All that and it's almost three hours long. ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's destruction and violence. Much of it is of a sci-fi/fantasy nature, but if you stop to think about it, the enormity and frequency of it can be overwhelming. Is this kind of violence more or less upsetting than gory horror movies?

  • One of the movie's major themes is the importance of family. Does that come through amid the chaos and destruction? Did the movie make you feel closer to your own family?

  • Why do you think the wealthiest and most important people were chosen for seats on the arks? Should other people have gotten a chance? What would have been a better way to go about the process?

  • Do you think a disaster like this could occur? If so, is it better to try and prepare or better not to worry about something we can't control?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Despite the relentlessly depressing, gruesome subject matter and millions (billions?) of deaths, the film's main point is that family is ultimately the most important thing in life. Several characters risk their lives or well-being for family members, and one character tries (tragically) to contact his family too late. Certain selfish characters are redeemed by saving family members, and the movie makes a point of mentioning that the most selfish character of all has no family. Aside from that, a few characters look beyond family to try to rescue total strangers as well.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The characters aren't very deep, but some of them still demonstrate marked heroism and selflessness. Hero Jackson Curtis previously ignored his family in favor of his career, but he returns to them during the disaster, learning how to connect with, love, and forgive them. Later, he risks his life to save thousands of people. Other characters clash over methods by which to choose who's rescued, with some seeing only the bottom line, but others arguing that everyone has a right to live. The president shows heroism and self sacrifice.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Not much blood and gore (one character gets his leg gouged in a giant gear), but the massive destruction results in countless anonymous deaths. The movie does focus dramatically on certain known faces as they meet their terrible fates, but it rarely stops to linger on them. Two children watch as their father falls to his death and another character is ground up in some machinery. Smaller moments of hostility at a boxing match, and a character punches another character in the face. A mass suicide is mentioned on a news report.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One character is a plastic surgeon who does breast implants. He meets one of his patients, and they mention her surgery several times. Gordon and Kate briefly discuss "making a baby" of their own. Kate and Jackson kiss once, and there's a near-kiss between Adrien and the president's daughter.

  • language false3

    Language: Fairly light use of strong language, although there's at least one "f--k," a few uses of "s--t," and other words like "damn," "ass," "hell," "goddamn," and "oh my God." One character flips another one off.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: A wealthy character brags about his fancy new Bentley. Pull-Ups diapers are discussed and shown.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Two minor adult characters are shown drinking. One takes his first drink in 25 years when he discovers that the world is going to end.